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End of The Year List 2013


The new video I did for Balance&Composure is premiering over on Rolling Stone.

can we just talk about how cool this looks
Bayside - Pigsty
Against Me! - Fuckymylife666

Man’s Best Friend

Today after 12 or so years, my parents had to put our dog, Franklin, to sleep. He was a 100+ pound golden retriever with a smile that made anyone’s day better. If you know me, you know I’m a dog lover and I’ve grown up having them as pets my whole life. That’s why typing this is very hard to do. 

I used to come home from school after having some pretty intense stress problems and he’d be there waiting for me and smiling just because I walked in. He was always excited to see anyone and just loved people in general. Someone I wish we all could learn from. The naïveté and blissful ignorance of dogs is one of the most peaceful things when you really think about it. They just want to make you happy and all they ask is for you to acknowledge them and love them in return. It seems like such a simple concept, yet we humans seem to sweat the small stuff so much. 

I think the part that hurts the most was when my parents moved away and I didn’t get to see my best friend anymore. We’d be on tour and I’d try to fill the void by hanging out with our friends’ dogs or even just smiling when I’d see one walk down the street. The distance, whether it was from Michigan to North Carolina or Alabama meant we went from seeing him less and less. Eventually it was down to once a year. 

My heart would always break thinking that he might not remember me. That’s something I think most people fear. We don’t want to be forgotten. I’d feel guilt being away from him and my parents all the time even though it was completely out of my hands. Yet to no avail, Franklin would revert back to his youthful self every time we’d get to visit him again. He’d lean into us slightly too hard or rest his head between our legs waiting for us to pet him. You bet I spent as much time with him as possible. 

In the past few months his health has been deteriorating until some growths began showing up around his body, as they do in older dogs. Unfortunately one was near his throat preventing him to eat solid food and keep it down. We all knew he couldn’t keep living like that. My mom would take him for walks, let him swim in the river and play with dogs in the park. He got to live his life to the fullest instead of laying around. It’s something we all want to do. Go out. Be something. Live. 

A week ago we got to stop by our parents house while on our six week tour. We all knew it was the last time we would see Franky. My parents said he fought to stay alive just to see us. I hugged the hell out of him and looked into his now drooping eyes, knowing he lived one damn good life and wanted us to know it was ok. Maybe it was just me reassuring myself, because now more than ever I seem to need it. When I left I gave him one last hug and kiss and walked away trying to keep it together. 

Part of human nature is having to deal with loss, and we all do in different ways. It made me think of my parents and how much they’ve done for us. I have this guilty feeling not being able to see them as often as I’d like, but we always take full advantage of it when we get to. It makes me want to reconnect with people I’ve lost touch with. It makes me want to live life a little better. Experience a little more. 

Everyone has someone in their life just like Franklin. Instead of dwelling over a loss (crying is inevitable), you can learn to appreciate things a little more. Go for a walk. Smell some flowers. Life is full of ups and downs, but living and experiencing life is such a privilege. 

Just smile already, dammit.

Got nothing to do from 4-6pm on a Monday afternoon?


Check out my radio show, The New Noise! We’re live now, and we have a fun show planned today. It would make me happy if you took the time to listen =)

Currently: The Swellers - Great Lakes State